It's Good to be the Queen

After listening to several female friends explain how hard it was to find a good man these days, I decided to put myself in women’s shoes.

I’ll admit it. I stumbled at first. I fell down. I even broke a heel when a gang of toughs pummeled me for not wearing Air Jordans. Those experiences made me think, “I look fabulous, girlfriend, but wouldn’t it be better to approach this metaphorically?”

And so I wrote a column last fall sympathizing with the fact that good men are hard to find. I included my e-mail address so that this nation’s 43 million single women could get in touch with me whenever they felt lonely. I won’t bore you with the specifics of how many women responded. We’ll just say it was in the mid-to-high zeroes.

Anyway, that column was full of bad news. So in the interest of balance, I thought it would be nice to share some good news for women from two magazine articles I read recently while waiting 10 hours for a United flight out of Washington, DC, which I will write about at some other time, when my murderous rage abates.

The first piece of good news comes courtesy of July’s “Atlantic Monthly.” I know what you’re thinking: “Atlantic Monthly _ the political magazine?” Trust me when I say that everything I learned about women, I learned from the glossy pages of “Atlantic Monthly” _ which explains things.

Next to an article entitled, “5 Simple Love Tricks Canada Craves” was a piece with the headline, “Gentlemen Prefer Brains.” A University of Washington professor has found that “as women’s education levels have risen in the United States, marriage prospects for educated women have also markedly improved.”

The study stated that in 1980 a woman in her early forties with 19 years of education had a 66 percent chance of being married compared to 83 percent of women with 12 years of education. Today the gap has disappeared.

If you’re an educated woman looking for a man, this is outstanding news.

Some countries _ I’m looking in your direction nations that ends with -stan _ prefer their women uneducated. Not the United States. It took a while, but American men finally realized that they’re going to have to talk to their wives eventually, and wouldn’t it be nice if she was smarter than your best friend Sean who still cries at the end of “Goonies”?

It’s mind-bendingly stupefying to think that men feared their intellectual peers and superiors. It’s no wonder that 18 out of every 23 couples over the age of 65 spend most of their time in public fighting and all of their time in private tampering with each other’s medication. Many married badly.

And because they stayed married, they suffered. Which brings us to our second piece of good news for women, courtesy of “Reason” magazine, which some call the “Redbook” of the libertarian political movement.

Next to an article entitled, “Nicole Kidman Speaks Out Against The Nanny State” is a blurb with the headline “Defending Divorce.” A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that “declines in … female suicide, wife abuse and murder of women by their husbands are the result of no-fault … divorces in most U.S. states.”

The bottom line: A good man is still hard to find, but for the first time in history the smart ones are looking for you and the bad ones aren’t in control anymore.

Next week: “How to Build a Birdbath on a Budget” from “The Economist.”

(Originally published 6/23/04.)

Click here to read the previous column – “Treat Schools Like Strip Clubs.”

If you have a comment, e-mail me at

Joe Donatelli
Joe Donatelli is a writer in Los Angeles

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